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Jonas Carpignano (Italian: [ˈdʒɔːnas karpiˈɲaːno]; born January 16, 1984) is an Italian-American film director. He is known for the films Mediterranea[1][2][3] and A Ciambra[4]

Jonas Carpignano
Born (1984-01-16) 16 January 1984 (age 35)
Alma materWesleyan University
OccupationFilm director
Parent(s)Paolo Carpignano Diane Carpignano
AwardsBingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at the IFP Gotham Awards, The Guggenheim Fellowship

Early life and careerEdit

Carpignano was born in the Bronx, New York in 1984. His father, Paolo Carpignano is a graduate school professor from Rome, Italy. His mother Diane Benskin Carpignano is from a family originally from Barbados in the Caribbean. Carpignano grew up in New York but spent extensive periods of time in Rome, Italy where his father’s family resided. He was educated at the exclusive prep school Fieldston in Riverdale.[5] From an early age he was surrounded by filmmakers and musicians. His paternal grandfather Vittorio Carpignano was a filmmaker and producer of some of the most memorable commercials of early Italian television, and a prolific artist in the latter part of his life. His uncle, Luciano Emmer, was a renown Italian film director. On his mothers side, his uncle Sammy Benskin was a well known jazz pianist and band leader. Carpignano began making films at Wesleyan University, where he graduated with honors in 2006 and, after having worked in the film industry in Italy and in the United States for a few years, he enrolled in the New York University Tisch School of Arts Graduate Film Program where he made his first short films. His work as a director has been shown at the Cannes Film Festival,[6] Venice Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.

Carpignano has written and directed several award-winning short films, including A Chjana which won best short film at the Venice Film Festival and A Ciambra which won the Discovery Award at the Cannes film festival - Semaine De La Critique in 2014.[7]

In 2015, Carpignano made his feature debut with Mediterranea, which had its world premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival's International Critics' Week .The film received positive reviews, and since its release the film has screened at festivals around the world such as BFI London Film Festival, AFI Fest and Stockholm Film Festival where the film won three awards including best debut film and best actor. Mediterranea was nominated for three Independent Sprit Awards and it earned Carpignano the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at the IFP Gotham Awards.The National Board of Review gave Carpignano the award for the best directorial debut of 2015 and put Mediterranea on its list of the top five foreign language films of the year.[8]

In 2017 Carpignano’s second feature film A Ciambra had its world premiere in the Director's Fortnight at 2017 Cannes Film Festival. The film was executive produced by Martin Scorsese and won the Europa Labels prize for best European film. The film was selected by Italy to represent the country in the best foreign language film category of the Academy Awards.[9] The film was not nominated but it did earn Carpignano a nomination for best director at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards and was named the best Italian Film of 2017 by the National Syndicate of Italian Film Critics (SNCCI).[10].

In 2018 A Ciambra was nominated for seven David di Donatello Awards ultimately winning two including the award for best director. [11]


He has received the award for breakthrough director at Gotham Independent Film Awards 2015[12] for his first feature film Mediterranea which was also named the best directorial debut of 2015 by the National Board of Review. In 2016 he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship.[13] In 2017 his film A Ciambra won the Europa label cinema prize at the Director's Fortnight at the cannes film festival.

In 2018 Carpignano won the award for best director (Miglior Regia) at the David di Donatello, the country's equivalent of the Oscars.

Personal lifeEdit

Carpignano lives in Italy, where he continues to work as a writer and director.


Year Film Role
2012 A Chjàna (Short) As Writer Director
2014 A Ciambra (Short) As Writer Director
2015 Mediterranea As Writer Director
2017 A Ciambra As Writer Director


  1. ^ "Mediterranea review – horribly topical drama about African migrants in Italy". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Jonas Carpignano". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  3. ^ "DISCOVERY: JONAS CARPIGNANO". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Jonas Carpignano's 'A Ciambra' is Italy's Oscar Contender". 2017-09-26.
  5. ^ "Jonas Carpignano". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Cannes: Q&A With Director Jonas Carpignano Whose 'Mediterranea' Has Buzz". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  7. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Film".
  9. ^ "Oscars: Martin Scorsese-Produced 'A Ciambra' Examines Life on the Margins in Contemporary Italy".
  10. ^ "Spirit Award Nominations: 'Call Me by Your Name', 'Lady Bird', 'Get Out', 'The Rider', 'Florida Project' Best Pics". 2017-11-21.
  11. ^ "'Love and Bullets,' 'A Ciambra' Split Top Honors at David Awards as Italy Tackles Gender Inequality". 2018-03-22.
  12. ^ "25th Annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Award Winners Announced". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Current Fellow Fellow: Awarded 2016 Field of Study: Film - Video Competition: US & Canada". Retrieved 1 July 2016.

External linksEdit